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Raiders captain Jarrod Croker has broken yet another point-scoring record.

Here are the key numbers from Round 5 of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership season. 

Cameron Smith confirms 'GOAT' status 

Is winningest a word? The Americans certainly think so, and to be fair, I didn't see a red squiggly line appear when I typed it into Word. Linguistics aside, Cameron Smith surpassed Broncos legend Darren Lockyer for the most wins in the NRL. Smith now boasts 238 wins in first grade, while teammate Cooper Cronk moved past Terry Lamb into third spot with win number 214.


Croker joins rarefied company

Cameron Smith might be breaking records left, right and centre, but expect Jarrod Croker to rewrite history in a few years. The Raiders skipper became just the fifth player to score 100 tries and kick 500 goals – following in the footsteps of Luke Burt, Ryan Girdler, Jamie Lyon and Hazem el Masri – with a four-pointer against the Eels on Saturday. It was fitting that he would bring up his century against Parramatta given he scored his first try against the blue and golds in 2009 when he simply got on the outside of Ben Smith to crash over in the corner. Plenty of his tries have been from kicks, so it came as no surprise to see him score off a Josh Hodgson grubber – the 15th time he's scored a try from that type of kick. 



We've been harping on about it for a while, but the Storm extended their incredible second-half streak in 2017, shutting out a side for the fourth time in five matches with another Herculean defensive display against the Panthers. Penrith had 63 per cent of the ball in the second half but it was the Storm who ran in three unanswered tries despite not having a play the ball inside the 20-metre zone until the 80th minute. 

CC and try

Staying with the Storm, and it came as no surprise to see Cooper Cronk go over for a try against Penrith. He now has 12 tries from 21 matches against the Panthers, easily his best return against any side. It was a similar story for Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson who took his tally to 10 tries from 12 matches against the Titans; also his best output. 


Sweet relief for the Titans and Tigers

They mightn't have won, but the Titans finally got the monkey off the back with a couple of tries in the opening quarter against the Warriors. Gold Coast hadn't scored a four-pointer in the first 20 minutes of any of their matches in 2017 until Dale Copley's try in the 10th minute. It was a similar albeit slightly different story for the Tigers who headed into their game against the Dragons desperate for some second-half points. Their three-game drought came to an end when Kevin Naiqama grounded a loose ball in the in-goal to give them their first try after the break since Moses Suli went over in the 57th minute of their Round 1 win over South Sydney. 

Weekend forecast

The Dragons have been one of the form teams of the competition but they will be up against it when they travel to Lottoland on Saturday. The Red V have lost their past four matches at the venue, with their last win coming back in 2008.  They have failed to reach double figures in the four losses, with the cumulative score an embarrassing 118-26 to the Sea Eagles. 

The grand final replay takes place this weekend, and it's interesting reading on how the vanquished back up from the previous year's heartbreak. Working our way backwards, this is how the loser of grand finals has rebounded the following season: Broncos won by a point, Bulldogs lost by a point, Sea Eagles won by eight, Bulldogs lost by four, Warriors lost by six, Roosters lost by 14, Eels won by 14, Storm won by 14, Sea Eagles lost by 22 and Storm won by 10. 

The ledger is locked at 5-5 over the past decade. Could we have golden point again like last year's Broncos v Cowboys thriller? 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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